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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

GRAPHISOFT ARCHICAD 22 Focuses on Modeling, Performance and Information Management

May 23rd, 2018 by Susan Smith

ARCHICAD 22 is focused on modeling, information management and performance. Some of those include:

  • Smooth and responsive navigation ensured for all model views.
  • Major performance enhancements noticeable when panning and zooming
  • Generation of complex element fills done by GPU acceleration
  • ARCHICAD balances calculation tasks so all cores finish their tasks at the same time.
  • An improved navigation caching algorithm
  • High resolutions support on Windows allows for sharper display of details.

Eniko Pauko, GRAPHISOFT Senior BIM Consultant, has worked in GRAPHISOFT headquarters for more than 15 years. She is a licensed architect with her own design company as well as a software developer. She spoke to AECCafe Voice about some of the new features of ARCHICAD 22.

The outside and even inside of the building is the façade. “We have to support the design process of the façade better so we use the curtain wall, this year using the curtain wall tool,” said Pauko.

Façade Design Workflow and Curtain Wall Tool

ARCHICAD’s remastered Façade Design workflow provides a flexible design environment for architects to create external or internal façades using modular structures and hierarchical, easily customizable patterns. Both traditional and algorithmic workflows are supported, thanks to the improved ARCHICAD-Grasshopper Connection.

While ARCHICAD has had a curtain wall tool in the past, it was more of a modeling tool. Now the new curtain wall tool has graphical pattern creation capabilities. You may also define an empty scheme grid and with no frames and panels and use that as a reference.  The best place for creating graphical patterns is either in 3D viewpoint or section or 3D viewpoint that is parallel to the curtain wall. In a curtain wall, all frames must be connected at both ends to another frame. During pattern creation, temporary frames are created and displayed as pink lines. These are automatically removed once the pattern creation is done. You may create an area larger than the pattern wall.

You can also create panels between frames. Select the panel class to be used, make sure to place any panel within a pattern box. Once the pattern is done, click the pattern I icon that will display the pattern box. By modifying the size and location of the pattern box, you can set the size of the pattern box.

ARCHICAD will display the pattern box as ghost lines so you can have a good idea of how the pattern will look.

Once the pattern is finished, it will be distributed along the whole geometry of the curtain wall.  Pauko said they have a more interactive interface so the basics of the curtain wall tool has not changed, but there is a big difference between the past version and current version. So, you could see what you set up in menu but it wasn’t interactive.

“Now I can set up elements and change outside, and add diagonal frames, rearrange the building structure,” Pauko said. “I can create something in my setting. Even if it isn’t the exact sizes we can do fine tuning, we have other options, so with one click, I have three divisions on my curtain wall. I want the exact number of divisions. You can do as many iterations as necessary, you can achieve a much more fine-tuned version of the same thing. It operates with a lot more elements.”

Model View Options

The Model View option allows for a separate curtain wall, and then you can decide what can be visible. :I can also reach the level of detail and the picture also shows level of detail automatically so I can see how they’re going to behave,” said Pauko.

ARCHICAD 22 has many variations of the curtain wall and allows for many sub-elements that follow the form of the curtain wall. Sub-elements adapt to geometry and frames and immediately fill the available holes.

ARCHICAD 22 has improved quality and precision when exporting building components and material information using IFC 2×3 and IFC 4 standards from the ARCHICAD model.


BIM components can be created in the model. There are multiple ways of creating BIM components in the model, and there are many surrounding structures and the components have to adapt to the situation. So, in practice these profiles are very hard to standardize.

“We somewhat supported such situations, but it was a separate practice,” said Pauko. “We had the parametric profile that could cover any situation, but they weren’t geometric so they couldn’t follow surrounding structures and what they required.

“We implemented parametric profile in ARCHICAD. Japan normally designs building where they keep in mind structures, and design buildings in one to one scale, so they document everything they have such as the load bearing structure, then they have the finishes based on tile size, there is a gap here, etc. They define a separate custom profile, and this is the size and shape of the gap, so they end up with different variations of the same things.”

The enhanced Profile Editor makes it easy to create intelligent profiles for columns, beams and walls and control the shapes and sizes of their cross sections via BIM parameters. The brand-new Expression Defined Properties vastly improve ARCHICAD’s capabilities to manage the “I” in BIM. GRAPHISOFT’s patent pending Machine Learning (ML) algorithm adjusts 2D navigation to each project’s content and results in a very smooth and responsive navigation.

ARCHICAD 22 also includes Maxon’s latest (R19) CineRender engine, providing stereoscopic or 360° spherical renderings; a better Teamwork experience due to faster element reservation; and improved quality and precision when exporting building component information from composite skins and complex profiles – using OPEN BIM standards.

“If the structural engineer asks for bigger profile or I need to change the values here, and they will immediately update, and all the surrounding structures are adjusted automatically,” said Pauko. “I can do this also from the dialog box and can restore designers, can return to the people to say I want to do things, and have full control of the elements of the environment.”

You can have as many building materials as you like without having to define additional profiles. All rules and profiles of bolts or models can be created with one single profile.

Information Management

In five years, there have been huge improvements in ARCHICAD, said Pauko. “Today the effort depends on how we can share the information. There are two big challenges – the balance between the model site and the metadata. Data is good, only if it’s non-structured, then its dumb data. We need intelligence to produce data that is useful. I need to calculate the number of tiles that I need to use to cover the floor in each room. We don’t do operations in a schedule, we do it on an element level, with a property manager. This is where data and metadata are stored. What are sizes of the tiles, stored there, import intelligence, calculate the area that can be covered by one box. All properties are available in the model to select. ARCHICAD gives you the entire feedback, and all you have to do is substitute space holder values with values from the project. You can save this information in many different formats. You can create a schedule. You can illustrate a schedule and can change any part of the schedule. All of the values will be automatically updated.”

In today’s architectural world, it’s necessary to manage bigger models with more complex details than ever before. More intelligence in models has been developed. Pauko said that this year, the projected view, elevation, viewing, panning are experiences their users use a lot in 2D operations.

The new Façade Design workflow uses 100 percent BIM and covers the entire design workflow from concept through design development to documentation supporting local standards – using traditional and algorithmic workflows.

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Categories: 2D, 3D, AEC, AECCafe, apps, ARCHIBUS, Archicad, architecture, BIM, Cloud, construction, file sharing, IFC, sustainable design

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